Tried today at San Francisco's Barney's...
Serge Lutens - Fille en Aiguilles
The first pine fragrance I adore. I respect pine as a note, but too often I flee from it when it sends me into Pinesol territory ( sorry, Zagorsk, I know you're The Powerful Scent Of Real Clean, I just can't seem to love you, or even tolerate you for longer than a few seconds ).
The top notes are my favorite part. Sappy pine, Christmas spices, and burnt sugar in a burst of intoxicating rich sweetness to appeal to ones diabetic inner child. Gourmand pine, not coniferous in the vein of the seemingly endless Bois series, but something closer to Parfumerie Gernerale's Cedre Sandaraque, where instead of pine, PG joined an Atlas cedar note to cotton candy in a delicious way.
The drydown is more familiar territory; something akin to Arabie with the edges rounded off, which given the "Do I vomit or do I cannabalize myself?" dilemma of Arabie's curry-house assault, isn't a bad thing in my books. Of Lutens' spice-rack creations, this is my favorite.
The longevity is a bummer for an oriental, an average to weak four to six hours, but I like it enough to want to reapply it!
If Lutens puts more fragrances out of this quality ( not necessarily this style ), I just may forgive him for the monument to blandness that is L'Eau.
Frederic Malle - Une Rose
What a disappointment. All this talk of truffles, chypres, and patchouli had me picturing Rose de Nuit with Black Orchid top notes. What do I get? Czech & Speake's Rose with death-metal sillage.
Velvet Rose does loud rose so much better, more naturally, and louder. Black Aoud, No. 88, and Voleur de Rose all do patchouli and rose better. Many fragrances do the general theme of dark rose better, but this isn't really a dark rose - it's a soapy, almost powdery thing, not bad, but not good in light of what else is out there.
To my great surprise, I liked Lipstick Rose a great deal more, even though it's not my style at all. To contrast the two, they're like two elderly women, one who may be a old-fashioned in her wardrobe, but is still a class act, and another who's totally given up on life and wears nothing but ill-fitting sweaters and a drab mumu. Truly, if Une Rose wasn't modern, I could easily imagine it as a badly-reformulated classic.
Sorry folks, I know it has its fans, but I was simply relieved when Une Rose gave up the ghost on my skin.